Progressive volume loss and white matter degeneration in cstb-deficient mice: a diffusion tensor and longitudinal volumetry MRI study.
ABSTRACT: Unverricht-Lundborg type progressive myoclonus epilepsy (EPM1, OMIM 254800) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by onset at the age of 6 to 16 years, incapacitating stimulus-sensitive myoclonus and tonic-clonic epileptic seizures. It is caused by mutations in the gene encoding cystatin B. Previously, widespread white matter changes and atrophy has been detected both in adult EPM1 patients and in 6-month-old cystatin B-deficient mice, a mouse model for the EPM1 disease. In order to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of the brain atrophy and white matter changes in EPM1, we conducted longitudinal in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and ex vivo diffusion tensor imaging accompanied with tract-based spatial statistics analysis to compare volumetric changes and fractional anisotropy in the brains of 1 to 6 months of age cystatin B-deficient and control mice. The results reveal progressive but non-uniform volume loss of the cystatin B-deficient mouse brains, indicating that different neuronal populations possess distinct sensitivity to the damage caused by cystatin B deficiency. The diffusion tensor imaging data reveal early and progressive white matter alterations in cystatin B-deficient mice affecting all major tracts. The results also indicate that the white matter damage in the cystatin B-deficient brain is most likely secondary to glial activation and neurodegenerative events rather than a primary result of CSTB deficiency. The data also show that diffusion tensor imaging combined with TBSS analysis provides a feasible approach not only to follow white matter damage in neurodegenerative mouse models but also to detect fractional anisotropy changes related to normal white matter maturation and reorganisation.
Project description:The progressive myoclonus epilepsies, featuring the triad of myoclonus, seizures, and ataxia, comprise a large group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases that remain poorly understood and refractory to treatment. The Cystatin B gene is mutated in one of the most common forms of progressive myoclonus epilepsy, Unverricht-Lundborg disease (EPM1). Cystatin B knockout in a mouse model of EPM1 triggers progressive degeneration of cerebellar granule neurons. Here, we report impaired redox homeostasis as a key mechanism by which Cystatin B deficiency triggers neurodegeneration. Oxidative stress induces the expression of Cystatin B in cerebellar granule neurons, and EPM1 patient-linked mutation of the Cystatin B gene promoter impairs oxidative stress induction of Cystatin B transcription. Importantly, Cystatin B knockout or knockdown sensitizes cerebellar granule neurons to oxidative stress-induced cell death. The Cystatin B deficiency-induced predisposition to oxidative stress in neurons is mediated by the lysosomal protease Cathepsin B. We uncover evidence of oxidative damage, reflected by depletion of antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation, in the cerebellum of Cystatin B knock-out mice in vivo. Collectively, our findings define a pathophysiological mechanism in EPM1, whereby Cystatin B deficiency couples oxidative stress to neuronal death and degeneration, and may thus provide the basis for novel treatment approaches for the progressive myoclonus epilepsies.
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an autosomal recessively inherited childhood-onset neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by myoclonus, seizures, and ataxia. Mutations in the cystatin B gene (CSTB) underlie EPM1. The CSTB-deficient (Cstb -/- ) mouse model recapitulates key features of EPM1, including myoclonic seizures. The mice show early microglial activation that precedes seizure onset and neuronal loss and leads to neuroinflammation. We here characterized the inflammatory phenotype of Cstb -/- mice in more detail. We found higher concentrations of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the serum of Cstb -/- mice and higher CXCL13 expression in activated microglia in Cstb -/- compared to control mouse brains. The elevated chemokine levels were not accompanied by blood-brain barrier disruption, despite increased brain vascularization. Macrophages in the spleen and brain of Cstb -/- mice were predominantly pro-inflammatory. Taken together, these data show that CXCL13 expression is a hallmark of microglial activation in Cstb -/- mice and that the brain inflammation is linked to peripheral inflammatory changes, which might contribute to the disease pathology of EPM1.
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy (EPM1) is an autosomal recessive disorder, characterized by severe, stimulus-sensitive myoclonus and tonic-clonic seizures. The EPM1 locus was mapped to within 0.3 cM from PFKL in chromosome 21q22.3. The gene for the proteinase inhibitor cystatin B was recently localized in the EPM1 critical region, and mutations were identified in two EPM1 families. We have identified six nucleotide changes in the cystatin B gene of non-Finnish EPM1 families from northern Africa and Europe. The 426G-->C change in exon 1 results in a Gly4Arg substitution and is the first missense mutation described that is associated with EPM1. Molecular modeling predicts that this substitution severely affects the contact of cystatin B with papain. Mutations in the invariant AG dinucleotides of the acceptor sites of introns 1 and 2 probably result in abnormal splicing. A deletion of two nucleotides in exon 3 produces a frameshift and truncates the protein. Therefore, these four mutations are all predicted to impair the production of functional protein. These mutations were found in 7 of the 29 unrelated EPM1 patients analyzed, in homozygosity in 1, and in heterozygosity in the others. The remaining two sequence changes, 431G-->T and 2575A-->G, probably represent polymorphic variants. In addition, a tandem repeat in the 5' UTR (CCCCGCCCCGCG) is present two or three times in normal alleles. It is peculiar that in the majority of patients no mutations exist within the exons and splice sites of the cystatin B gene.
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease with myoclonus, seizures and ataxia, caused by the mutations in cystatin B (CSTB) gene. In an approach towards understanding the molecular basis of pathogenic events in EPM1 we have utilized the cystatin B deficient mice (Cstb-/-), a model for the disease. We have characterized the gene expression changes from the cerebellum of Cstb-/- mouse at postnatal day 7 (P7) and P30 as well as in cultured cerebellar granule cells using a pathway-based approach. A marked upregulation of immune response genes was seen at P30, reflecting the ongoing neuropathology, however, the observed alterations in complement cascade genes could also imply defects in synaptic plasticity. Differentially expressed genes in pre-symptomatic Cstb-/- animals at P7 were connected to synaptic function and plasticity and in cultured cerebellar granule cells to cellular biogenesis, cytoskeleton and intracellular transport. Especially GABAergic pathways were affected. Overall design: The sample preparation and hybridzation of each cRNAs on GeneChip® Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA, USA) were performed in Helsinki Biomedicum Biochip Center (Finland).
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an autosomal recessively inherited neurodegenerative disease, manifesting with myoclonus, seizures and ataxia, caused by mutations in the cystatin B (CSTB) gene. With the aim of understanding the molecular basis of pathogenetic events in EPM1 we characterized gene expression changes in the cerebella of pre-symptomatic postnatal day 7 (P7) and symptomatic P30 cystatin B -deficient (Cstb(-/-) ) mice, a model for the disease, and in cultured Cstb(-/-) cerebellar granule cells using a pathway-based approach. Differentially expressed genes in P7 cerebella were connected to synaptic function and plasticity, and in cultured cerebellar granule cells, to cell cycle, cytoskeleton, and intracellular transport. In particular, the gene expression data pinpointed alterations in GABAergic pathway. Electrophysiological recordings from Cstb(-/-) cerebellar Purkinje cells revealed a shift of the balance towards decreased inhibition, yet the amount of inhibitory interneurons was not declined in young animals. Instead, we found diminished number of GABAergic terminals and reduced ligand binding to GABAA receptors in Cstb(-/-) cerebellum. These results suggest that alterations in GABAergic signaling could result in reduced inhibition in Cstb(-/-) cerebellum leading to the hyperexcitable phenotype of Cstb(-/-) mice. At P30, the microarray data revealed a marked upregulation of immune and defense response genes, compatible with the previously reported early glial activation that precedes neuronal degeneration. This further implies the role of early-onset neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of EPM1.
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of the Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder characterized by onset at age 6-16 years, generalized seizures, incapacitating myoclonus, and variable progression to cerebellar ataxia. The gene that causes EPM1, cystatin B, encodes a cysteine proteinase inhibitor. Only a minority of EPM1 patients carry a point mutation within the transcription unit. The majority of EPM1 alleles contain large expansions of a dodecamer repeat, CCC CGC CCC GCG, located upstream of the 5' transcription start site of the cystatin B gene; normal alleles contain two or three copies of this repeat. All EPM1 alleles with an expansion were resistant to standard PCR amplification. To precisely determine the size of the repeat in affected individuals, we developed a detection protocol involving PCR amplification and subsequent hybridization with an oligonucleotide containing the repeat. The largest detected expansion was approximately 75 copies; the smallest was approximately 30 copies. We identified affected siblings with repeat expansions, of different sizes, on the same haplotype, which confirms the repeat's instability during transmissions. Expansions were observed directly; contractions were deduced by comparison of allele sizes within a family. In a sample of 28 patients, we found no correlation between age at onset of EPM1 and the size of the expanded dodecamer. This suggests that once the dodecamer repeat expands beyond a critical threshold, cystatin B expression is reduced in certain cells, with pathological consequences.
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease with myoclonus, seizures and ataxia, caused by the mutations in cystatin B (CSTB) gene. In an approach towards understanding the molecular basis of pathogenic events in EPM1 we have utilized the cystatin B deficient mice (Cstb-/-), a model for the disease. We have characterized the gene expression changes from the cerebellum of Cstb-/- mouse at postnatal day 7 (P7) and P30 as well as in cultured cerebellar granule cells using a pathway-based approach. A marked upregulation of immune response genes was seen at P30, reflecting the ongoing neuropathology, however, the observed alterations in complement cascade genes could also imply defects in synaptic plasticity. Differentially expressed genes in pre-symptomatic Cstb-/- animals at P7 were connected to synaptic function and plasticity and in cultured cerebellar granule cells to cellular biogenesis, cytoskeleton and intracellular transport. Especially GABAergic pathways were affected. The sample preparation and hybridzation of each cRNAs on GeneChip® Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA, USA) were performed in Helsinki Biomedicum Biochip Center (Finland).
Project description:Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an autosomal recessively inherited disorder characterized by incapacitating stimulus-sensitive myoclonus and tonic-clonic epileptic seizures with onset at the age of 6 to 16 years. EPM1 patients also exhibit a range of skeletal changes, e.g., thickened frontal cranial bone, arachnodactyly and scoliosis. Mutations in the gene encoding cystatin B (CSTB) underlie EPM1. CSTB is an inhibitor of cysteine cathepsins, including cathepsin K, a key enzyme in bone resorption by osteoclasts. CSTB has previously been shown to protect osteoclasts from experimentally induced apoptosis and to modulate bone resorption in vitro. Nevertheless, its physiological function in bone and the cause of the bone changes in patients remain unknown. Here we used the CSTB-deficient mouse (Cstb-/-) model of EPM1 to evaluate the contribution of defective CSTB protein function on bone pathology and osteoclast differentiation and function. Micro-computed tomography of hind limbs revealed thicker trabeculae and elevated bone mineral density in the trabecular bone of Cstb-/- mice. Histology from Cstb-/- mouse bones showed lower osteoclast count and thinner growth plates in long bones. Bone marrow-derived osteoclast cultures revealed lower osteoclast number and size in the Cstb-/- group. Cstb-/- osteoclasts formed less and smaller resorption pits in an in vitro assay. This impaired resorptive capacity was likely due to a decrease in osteoclast numbers and size. These data imply that the skeletal changes in Cstb-/- mice and in EPM1 patients are a result of CSTB deficiency leading to impaired osteoclast formation and consequently compromised resorptive capacity. These results suggest that the role of CSTB in osteoclast homeostasis and modulation of bone metabolism extends beyond cathepsin K regulation.
Project description:Cerebral edema is the common pathogenic mechanism for cognitive impairment in minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Whether complete reversibility of brain edema, cognitive deficits, and their associated imaging can be achieved after liver transplantation remains an open question. To characterize white matter integrity before and after liver transplantation in patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy, multiple diffusivity indices acquired via diffusion tensor imaging was applied. Twenty-eight patients and thirty age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were included. Multiple diffusivity indices were obtained from diffusion tensor images, including mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity. The assessment was repeated 6-12 month after transplantation. Differences in white matter integrity between groups, as well as longitudinal changes, were evaluated using tract-based spatial statistical analysis. Correlation analyses were performed to identify first scan before transplantation and interval changes among the neuropsychiatric tests, clinical laboratory tests, and diffusion tensor imaging indices. After transplantation, decreased water diffusivity without fractional anisotropy change indicating reversible cerebral edema was found in the left anterior cingulate, claustrum, postcentral gyrus, and right corpus callosum. However, a progressive decrease in fractional anisotropy and an increase in radial diffusivity suggesting demyelination were noted in temporal lobe. Improved pre-transplantation albumin levels and interval changes were associated with better recoveries of diffusion tensor imaging indices. Improvements in interval diffusion tensor imaging indices in the right postcentral gyrus were correlated with visuospatial function score correction. In conclusion, longitudinal voxel-wise analysis of multiple diffusion tensor imaging indices demonstrated different white matter changes in minimal hepatic encephalopathy patients. Transplantation improved extracellular cerebral edema and the results of associated cognition tests. However, white matter demyelination may advance in temporal lobe.
Project description:Primary progressive aphasia is a clinical syndrome that encompasses three major phenotypes: non-fluent/agrammatic, semantic and logopenic. These clinical entities have been associated with characteristic patterns of focal grey matter atrophy in left posterior frontoinsular, anterior temporal and left temporoparietal regions, respectively. Recently, network-level dysfunction has been hypothesized but research to date has focused largely on studying grey matter damage. The aim of this study was to assess the integrity of white matter tracts in the different primary progressive aphasia subtypes. We used diffusion tensor imaging in 48 individuals: nine non-fluent, nine semantic, nine logopenic and 21 age-matched controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to identify bilateral inferior longitudinal (anterior, middle, posterior) and uncinate fasciculi (referred to as the ventral pathway); and the superior longitudinal fasciculus segmented into its frontosupramarginal, frontoangular, frontotemporal and temporoparietal components, (referred to as the dorsal pathway). We compared the tracts' mean fractional anisotropy, axial, radial and mean diffusivities for each tract in the different diagnostic categories. The most prominent white matter changes were found in the dorsal pathways in non-fluent patients, in the two ventral pathways and the temporal components of the dorsal pathways in semantic variant, and in the temporoparietal component of the dorsal bundles in logopenic patients. Each of the primary progressive aphasia variants showed different patterns of diffusion tensor metrics alterations: non-fluent patients showed the greatest changes in fractional anisotropy and radial and mean diffusivities; semantic variant patients had severe changes in all metrics; and logopenic patients had the least white matter damage, mainly involving diffusivity, with fractional anisotropy altered only in the temporoparietal component of the dorsal pathway. This study demonstrates that both careful dissection of the main language tracts and consideration of all diffusion tensor metrics are necessary to characterize the white matter changes that occur in the variants of primary progressive aphasia. These results highlight the potential value of diffusion tensor imaging as a new tool in the multimodal diagnostic evaluation of primary progressive aphasia.